Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast television programmes then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

TV Licensing Visits Suppressed to More than 16k Properties

The BBC really doesn't want you to know that the occupiers of more than 16,000 properties have withdrawn TV Licensing's implied rights of access.

This means that TV Licensing is legally forbidden from visiting those properties during the course of its routine enquiries.

According to a BBC email (see page 4 of document) recently released to Freedom of Information campaigner Doug Paulley, the Corporation's response to this information becoming public knowledge would be to say "TV Licensing uses detection on those addresses".

Sadly for the BBC, we know that statement is total bullshit too, as TV Licensing's use of detection is virtually unheard of and very tightly regulated. Still, the BBC are never ones to let the truth stand in the way of a good story.

Despite the copious amount of pseudo-legal bullshit it churns out, TV Licensing has no special rights to visit any property within the UK. It relies on an ancient common law right of access, which assumes that occupiers expect salespeople and the like to come onto the property and peddle their wares at the front door.

WOIRA can only be used by the occupiers of properties in England and Wales. The laws of trespass in Scotland are a slightly more relaxed affair, so TV Licensing will not accept WOIRA for properties north of the border.

WOIRA is occasionally mentioned as an anti-TV Licensing strategy, but the general consensus is that it is risky for the following reasons:
  • The presence of WOIRA draws TV Licensing's attention to the fact that the occupier is a "clued up opponent" that may be worthy of "special attention".
  • The presence of WOIRA will strengthen TV Licensing's case in the extremely unlikely event that it attempts to obtain a search warrant for the property. That said a warrant can only be granted when very specific conditions are met (see our earlier post). If TV Licensing was somehow able to obtain a search warrant (by fair means or foul), then that would override the occupier's WOIRA instruction.
  • TV Licensing, despite its pretence to the contrary, is known to ignore WOIRA when it suits.
Despite the risks, some people may wish to explore the option of WOIRA in more detail. To those people we signpost our earlier post on the subject, which includes a link to a WOIRA template letter than can be used.

Our preferred route in dealing with TV Licensing is no contact. Anyone that doesn't legally need a TV licence is under no legal obligation at all to TV Licensing. People in that situation are advised to totally ignore TV Licensing. Simply place TV Licensing letters in the bin and close the door on any TV Licensing pariahs that visit.

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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Lord Sugar Carelessly Reveals 2016 The Apprentice Winner

It looks like the BBC has dropped the ball for a second time this week.

According to media reports the winner of the current series of The Apprentice has been inadvertently revealed by the observation that they were the only one being followed on Twitter by belligerent businessman Lord Alan Sugar.

Of all the business hopefuls that trundle through the boardroom, history shows that Sugar only ever follows the winner on Twitter.

The oversight has been pointed out to Sugar, who has now unfollowed the series winner - but too late to prevent their name from becoming public knowledge.

Contestants on the programme are bound by strict confidentiality agreements, so that the eventual outcome isn't leaked to the media.

Sadly those confidentiality agreements don't extend as far as the censorship of Sugar's Twitter feed (but given the BBC's woeful redaction skills, it would undoubtedly balls that up anyway). We're not governed by any sort of confidentiality clause or loyalty to the BBC either, so we have no qualms in revealing the name everyone is talking about.

The winner of the current series of the hit BBC One show wasn't due to be revealed until the 18th December, when the BBC was undoubtedly hoping that millions of viewers would tune in to see who it is.

But you don't need to wait that long, as we can reveal this morning that the name squarely in the frame is 31-year-old small business owner Grainne McCoy.

Grainne, from Northern Ireland, the proud owner of a makeup studio, describes her self as naturally driven. She says needs a bit of mentoring to make her first million and wants to be a good role model to her teenaged son.

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Thursday, 1 December 2016

BBC Finally Releases Awkward FOI Response About Damage Limitation

It turns out we were right.

Information finally released by the BBC confirms that its arse did go into the spasm the moment it realised that some half wit, who is probably reading this right now, had inadvertently publicised vast swathes of its TV Licensing secrets.

The aforementioned half wit now faces hours of retraining on "the safe redaction of documents and the use of Adobe redaction software". There's nothing like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

The BBC went into immediate damage limitation mode and started to anticipate awkward questions the media might pose in the wake of its recent Freedom of Information blunder. For convenience you can view the BBC's rehearsed responses to those questions here.

In scenes reminiscent of a Points Of View complaint, the BBC is apparently less concerned about its own incompetent cock-up and more concerned about the fact that someone (the TV Licensing Blog and others) has dared to notice and mention it.

The BBC willingly released the offending material in response to what it knew was a public request. It cannot blame anyone else for the fact that information is now available for public scrutiny and commentary. Had the boot been on the other foot and sensitive information had landed in the lap of Panorama, then you can be entirely confident the BBC would have reported the fact.

Thanks to the BBC's latest response to Doug Paulley, we now know that there are further revelations in the TV Licensing Monthly Performance Pack for March 2015 that it would rather weren't highlighted to the public.

We now intend to revisit that document and go through it with a very fine tooth comb.

Stay tuned.

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